Single Parent Faith

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hot Mess!

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As a single parent one can very often experience exhaustion, seeing as there is never a shortage of challenges. While married, one typically can rely on our spouse to support and step in to reassure, in moments when one feels weak, or just plain overwhelmed. But when one is spouseless, sometimes one can feel helpless. 

Simple things stack up, and can develop into an insurmountable hill. Mail on the counter needing my attention (I must be late on something), organizing papers for tax preparation, my tanking 401K, necessary house repairs, and the no brainers needing daily attention like laundry, dishwashing, preparing meals. Mind you this list I just shared with you is only 1/1000th  of my running list.

What’s happening to my appliances? My dishwasher and washing machine have started whining for my attention, not to mention my 33+ yr old furnace that’s been moaning like an old retired ghost. And of course while I was in the shower today washing off my hair dye- and let me tell you, that is not the time to run out of the shower leaving trails of ash brown all over my flooring- my daughter alerts me that “the garage door is stuck part way and something fell off!” I must say, I am proud of her. She figured out an interim solution on her own, manually lifting the door and removing my car.

So what am I doing today? Am I working to knock off items on my endless perpetuating list? No, I’m at the coffee shop writing.

Writing is something I do because, like air, I cannot help myself. It is as fundamental a part of my existence. I have often in my life put it off because other people or things needed my immediate attention. No one needs my writing, so the choice to put it off is a no-brainer when you put it in terms of life priorities. But like air, I can hold my breath only for so long. I can stop writing only for so long. Then suddenly and inexplicably, out of nowhere, there must be some emergency overflow valve that’s tripped, and abundantly and insatiably, a gusher of thoughts come and I cannot contain them. I grab for paper, I grab for napkins, I grab for sticky notes, I grab for anything in my immediate reach to begin recording what’s streaming. Sometimes it’s genius, sometimes it’s gobblydegook. The good stuff I believe is Divinely inspired. The rest, well, that’s probably my fried brain talking.

Lately my daughter has begun telling me, “Mama! You’re a hot mess!”

I felt that way the other day as I arrived late to work. I was in the parking lot getting my stuff together out of the car.  I grabbed for my laptop bag, water bottle, lunch bag, fumbling for my phone and ……

Oh Goodness! Where’d I place my keys?! I had them a minute ago! Trace my steps….

Okay, found it!

Geesh! I almost left without my coffee! Now how am I going to carry all this stuff?

Fumble, fumble some more…..drop a thing or two but managed to hang onto coffee cup! Yes!

Finally made it to the front door of the professional stuffy building. Okay, gotta put on my professional face. Gotta fool them that I have it all together, you know. Especially being a woman engineer. Don’t want to give us women a bad name. Here goes……

And we begin another day. Exhausted and I haven’t even started!

I typically avoid drama in my life and purposely avoid draining relationships of any kind. I don’t over-commit my time, neither does my child– she’s very laid back. Though she’s active and involved, I’m not off driving her to every event imaginable. Yet, even still, one cannot avoid “life” and it’s varying demands on our time. 

You hear it said, “simplify.” Yes, I am working to simplify, and yet, you can only carve so much fat off an emaciated chicken.

A recent conversation at work, with a married mom, she explained similar feelings of not having enough time to do it all. She added, “Something’s gotta give.”

That’s it– Too much to do, only so much time in a day, in a week, in a year. It can’t all possibly get done at once. Try as you might to juggle it all, the reality is, some things may never get done. I am starting to realize that it’s okay not to get it all done. I have my married friends to thank. If they can’t get it all done, how on earth am I?
Ella Venezia


  1. I feel the same way about writing - though not all of what I write sees day light :)
    Thank you for visiting my space (I am damn impressed that you are an aerospace engineer and no i don't think you are ancient at all!)

  2. I "get" that NEED to write. It is like breathing. Unfortunately, I just never make the time to park my butt awhile & do it. Kudos to you for doing that! I was impressed this morning when I realized that I actually accomplished everything on my "to-do" list. Of course, that's ONLY those things I listed. ;o\ There's plenty more that needs my attention. But ya know what? It's gonna be there tomorrow (and the day after that, and so on, and so on....). Part of me wants to complain about it. But then I listen to married friends complain about something that involves their hubby & I think "Whew, at least I don't have to deal with that TOO!" LOL! Maybe when I get to the 'you don't know how lucky you are' mindset is when God will bring the man He chose just for me into my life! ;o}

  3. Hi 'me_dress'- thanks for following my blog! I left you a comment on your blog for today's entry. Thank you also for the nice things you said. We are after all as old as we desire to be :D
    Good point....Alot of my writing won't see the light of day either. Some stuff is meant for venting or just plain a great substitute for laying on a shrink's couch :D
    Peace to you and looking forward to hearing from you again.

  4. Merana- Hooray for completing all your items on your list! Even if it was only a subset. It is still progress nontheless.

    Whenever I hear someone complain about their husband/wife (and it's not a serious character issue like abuse, etc), it's all about perspective. It's all about what matters most in the grand scheme of things. For those of us who haven't yet met our divinely delivered man, I pray that we'll be appreciative of the blessing we had to wait for. Perhaps we'll be more likely to "see" what is only essential, and I pray we will not not get bogged down complaining about the mundane.
    Have a great week!- Ella


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